‘Calamitous Error': Local Lawmakers Condemn Trump Decision to Withdraw From Paris Climate Agreement

Lawmakers across New England wasted no time in speaking out against President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the international Paris climate change agreement.

Trump announced Thursday that the U.S. would "cease sall implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord." Both Democrats and Republicans spoke out against the move on Thursday.

"President Trump risks irreparably damaging America's future generations by abandoning the Paris Climate Agreement," U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in a statement. "Without action, the effects of global climate change will exacerbate geopolitical instability and threaten to displace millions of people across the world. It would be a national embarrassment for the United States to stand down while we allow China and others to lead the fight against the greatest global threat facing the earth."

Democratic U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts said Trump's decision will have "devastating consequences at home and abroad" for generations to come.

"Withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord will have a detrimental impact on our country’s international relations and world standing and will jeopardize our environment and economy," she said. "Withdrawal denies the role the United States plays in contributing to climate change, reduces our ability to help shape a solution to this crisis, and retreats from our responsibility to serve as a global leader."

"President Trump's reckless decision to abandon his responsibility to address the very real dangers of climate change threatens America's long-term economic growth, the health of our citizens, and the well-being of the planet that we pass along to generations to come," agreed Democratic U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan from New Hampshire. "Despite President Trump's lack of leadership, Granite Staters and people across the country take the dangers of climate change extremely seriously, and we will continue working to do everything in our power to combat this threat."

Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker called Trump's decision "disappointing," but said the state will work with partners around the globe to reduce carbon emissions.

"Massachusetts is aggressively working to exceed the goals of the Paris Agreement on the state level, while growing our economy through clean energy innovation." 

He said "climate change is a shared reality and our ability to rise and respond to this challenge will shape future generations."

Another Republican, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, said Trump's decision is shortsighted.

Collins tweeted that climate change "requires a global approach" and that she is disappointed by Trump's decision to withdraw. Collins did not endorse Trump during the campaign. 

Maine's other U.S. Senator, Angus King, called withdrawing from the accord "a mistake of historic proportions" that puts the country and the planet at risk.

"Withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement isn't just a setback, it's irresponsible," argued Democratic Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, who held a press conference Wednesday criticizing Trump. "This damages our nation's reputation as an international leader and puts future generations at risk to the threat of climate change. Boston will not stand by given what's at stake."

He added that he is committed to working with mayors of other U.S. cities to "protect Boston against the very real impacts of climate change."

"Today, President Trump walked away from the greatest challenge of our time," Democratic U.S. Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont said. "His decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is a stunning rejection of science, international cooperation, and economic opportunity. It imperils our national and global security, and will do irreversible harm to our planet. American leadership is essential to preserving our planet for future generations. This fight is not over. We will move forward without him."

Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy said it would be a "travesty to squander this moment of world unity."

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders said Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement "is an abdication of American leadership and an international disgrace." 

"President Trump made a historic and calamitous error to ignore the majority of the American people and the overwhelming majority of scientists who agree that humans are contributing to climate change and we must act before it's too late," Democratic U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire said.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire called the decision "a devastating blow to America's global leadership with grave implications for New Hampshire and future generations."

"Withdrawing the United States from the Paris Agreement is a grave mistake - and it is our future generations who will pay the price," said Democratic Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy. "Our nation has a proud history of leading by example and we do not cower from the hard work of making the world a safer place. History will judge this presidential administration harshly for its collective failure to address one of the most pressing global issues of our lifetime."

Malloy said that Connecticut, as well, would work to fight climate change.

"Unfortunately, we lack a strong partner at the federal level as we go about this incredibly important work," he added.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut called Trump's decision "a moral abomination." He said our duty is "to leave the planet for our children and grandchildren in at least as good a condition as we found it." He said the president's decision "is both a planet killer and a job killer."

"President Trump did what candidate Trump promised. He is letting ideology and politics trump science," said Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg, a Democrat. "This is an ill-conceived decision which sets us apart from virtually every other nation in the world. I hope we will not next hear from the Trump Administration that the world is flat."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us